I recently wrote a print article on the five top instant ramen noodles in Northern Virginia, which appeared in the January issue of Northern Virginia Magazine. The research for this article was kind of awesome. Our house was covered in tiny silver MSG packages and dried noodles for a few weeks as the hubby and I dutifully boiled and ate package after package of instant noodles from all over Asia. We tried countless combinations of garnishes, from lime wedges to braised pork belly to tofu to sheets of seaweed, all in an effort to figure out if all certain noodles needed was a little dressing up.
Not surprisingly, there is some spectacularly bad instant ramen out there. I mean this with all sincerity: buy instant noodles at your own risk. We hit up our favorite Asian grocery stores in the area and loaded up our carts with all sorts of fun-looking packages, only to discover that there may be a lot of joy advertised by those dancing cartoon noodle bowls printed on the outside, but what’s inside may not actually be very fun to eat. I won’t lie: there were times where I wondered if what was inside the next tiny spice packet were the granules of my remaining dignity. But I soldiered on.
The five that did make the cut are legitimately good approximations to the real noodle dishes that the instant packets are intended to emulate. I’d absolutely eat them again and found myself surprised and delighted with the results, most of which were achieved in under five minutes. Sure, my sodium levels probably rose about 1000% the acceptable norm for a couple weeks there, but you know what? I did it for you, so that you don’t have to. Because that’s the kind of dedicated eater I am.
Check out the article here.